This is an attempt to draft a vision and 5-year plan that will both merit the support of the council and be effective for planning and fundraising. See the discussion page for discussion of how this document might develop and how it relates to the General Priorities document. Laurel and Marie developed this document in summer 2007. We need to update it!
What FG could look like in 2010
FG is widely known as the most environmentally responsible of the many e-waste recycling operations in Oregon, partly because of its very high rate of reuse over recycling of e-waste. Most of its reused equipment is provided to people and organizations that otherwise would not have access to this technology. Free Geek's environmental ideals are evident in other parts of the operation, including the building.
FG is an integral part of the OSS community in Oregon that continues to be a world leader among the OSS movement.
FG is an effective and supportive advocate of F/OSS at the user level through education and support.
As a Community Technology Center
Portland residents have access to affordable technology they can maintain within their incomes.
FG’s community technology center is widely viewed and used as a gathering place and incubator of ideas and action among the Portland area’s techno/geek/DIY/creative/collective/alternative/self-help/sustainable etc. community. This cross-fertilization of ideas and skills is integrated into the education program.
The center offers meeting space for FG groups and committees and other like-minded community groups. Sliding fee scale rental of space is a source of earned income.
FG is adept at keeping up with/anticipating technology trends so it responds to changing markets, needs.
FG’s educational program has a successful record of training people for living wage jobs. Prepares people to participate in the google-is-a-verb-now world. It is supported by government funded job training grants, fee for service, donations, and other FG revenue. Need: research what job training fund requirements are (e.g., worksystems inc, how YouthBuild uses Americorps, state funds, etc.)
As an employer
FG pays its employees a living wage that supports a sustainable lifestyle.
FG is widely recognized as a model of a collectively organized and operated nonprofit.
Each department within FG is stable with adequate work force and volunteers.
- this needs to be elaborated further. what counts as a department? what does stable mean to us? --~~
Sister and affiliate organizations
Free Geek will have a supportive (though non-financial) relationship with like organizations, sharing things like educational materials with others.
Free Geek will be involved in an umbrella organization that helps to coordinate the efforts of all official Free Geeks and may hold the trademark rights on the Free Geek name. Our contributions to this effort may include time and/or money.
Free Geek has adequate and accessible space and physical resources for its programs, which also allow for the flexibility to adapt to changing realities.
In order to achieve this vision, FG needs:
Stable income, both earned and unearned
Future forecasts are regularly conducted to ensure continued success
- Keeping abreast of technology, planning for changes in the field (e.g., mobile devices, LCD monitors, laptops, equipment where the hardware and software are more integrated and less reusable?)
- Need: group actively investigating and anticipating trends, adjusting the plan as needed quickly and with agility. This group will ensure long term survivability of the org, rather than assuming can just keep doing what always did. The Optimization and Priorities group is somewhat tasked with this goal.
To have maximum control over its destiny and life, FG owns the building it occupies. The building incorporates as many green building elements as possible/practical in the Portland environment/climate.
- Would save $10,000 (?) per month in rent? Can buy on contract or get loan, raise funds for down payment? Rent could go to purchase…
- Very difficult to get grants for building improvements when org doesn’t own building, because they end up benefiting a private property owner.
- If could get this building, do we want it? If not, start looking elsewhere… where? Why where?
- To accomplish the purchase, FG can tap into every conceivable source, incl. below market sale price by owner, wealthy donors who may want a room named after them or not, foundation grants, lottery and other econ development dollars, PDC loans/assistance, etc. Also seek funding for remodeling, green building improvements, accessibility, etc.
- Need: research space availability, get real estate broker to donate services, fundraising group goes into high gear, if we want to continue in inner southeast (which works very well for our volunteers, staff, etc.) we better starting getting our act together NOW!)…
- If this is the most important need we anticipate in the next 5-10 years, should make it the number one priority of fundraising group. In addition to donations and grants, will also plan and hold fundraising events aimed at accomplishing this… get a campaign going…
Volunteers… will they keep coming? From where? What will ensure this happens? What will we do if it doesn’t?
Need to ID other things that will take money:
- Staffing needs
- Equipment needs
- Furnishing needs